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August 27, 1996

Richard Krajicek


Q. What happened today, Richard?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: Good question. I played against an opponent who was much more aggressive than I was. I think that's the bottom line. I wasn't aggressive at all. I was moving very bad. Physically I felt good, not like I was tired or something. My legs were -- my head was not telling my legs to move. That was the problem. I was very lazy through my volleys. Stefan was just moving much better. When I got a ball out of reach, I'd reach for it instead of moving my feet. He was much more aggressive with his feet. I think that was really the big difference.

Q. Were you nervous?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: No, no chance to be nervous if you get killed like that. If it would be a close match, you maybe can get nervous. There was no room for nervousness. It was not really a contest today. It was not close at all.

Q. Have you ever beaten Edberg? Have you --

RICHARD KRAJICEK: Third time I played him this year. I've played him, I don't know, six or seven times in my career. I know how it is to play him. I played him here on center court also once. Nothing to do with it.

Q. Richard, forgetting about the fact that you may have had an off day, you grew up watching Stefan play a little bit here and there, you played him before. What can you say about the champion that he is that allows him to come through in a match like this where maybe he's not expected to? What can you say about that?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: That is why, of course, he's a very good player. Very big differences. You could really see that he wanted it more badly than I did. Like I said, he was moving better, mentally he was more aggressive than I was. I wasn't feeling too happy on the court. That's I think the mark of a real champion. After 15 years I think he's playing on the Tour, that he's still got the aggressiveness and the desire to win every match. I just wasn't as aggressive as he was. I don't know why. Like I said, I think in my eyes, that was the big difference, that he was really pumped and aggressive moving, everything.

Q. When you found out you'd be playing him in the first round, did you think it's his last Open, he's going to be pumped, this could be trouble?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: Yeah, I knew it was going to be a difficult draw because we always have tight matches and good matches. Today was clearly an exception. You know, he likes my game. Like I said, he likes me serve and volleying. He's been playing some good tennis. He beat Chang in the French Open. He looks very eager to win, to do well in the Slams in his last year in the Slams. This is especially his last Slam. You know the crowd is going to be very into it and you know you're going to be playing against the crowd a little bit also. I knew it was going to be a very difficult match.

Q. Did the crowd affect you, supporting Edberg?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: No. Maybe if it would have been close, then they can start to annoy you, they start to talk, make a lot of noise maybe when you're serving. Like I said, it was not close enough to really have outside things bother me.

Q. You were talking about how your head wasn't telling your legs to go after the ball. At times out there you looked like you couldn't believe what was happening was happening. Were you telling yourself -- did you know what you were supposed to do then? Did the analysis come after the match or did you know during the match and just couldn't do it?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: The first set went by pretty quick. It was in a way over before it hit me. The second set, I have to say, I thought I was doing the right things. I was just missing a few shots. He came up with some good shots, maybe a breakpoint down. The second set, I thought I played good. I lose that, then it's two sets to Love. Tough to come back from that. I have to say, he was making a lot of returns, not missing too much shots also. I have to, of course, give Stefan credit for playing well. I just played bad for a set, then second set I lose with I think good tennis. It's two sets to Love. Tough to come back from that.

Q. How has winning Wimbledon affected you?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: I think it's affected me so far in a positive way. Today was an off day. In general, I would have to say I feel very good, very happy, very relaxed. I've achieved something that I've dreamed about. It's nice to fulfill your dreams.

Q. I'm sorry, I got here late. Did you explain what happened with the delay?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: No. I just had a bloody nose.

Q. Were you hit?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: No. It wasn't really coming from inside either. Apparently because maybe the towels there are washed hot, so they're a little bit sharp. Maybe I cut myself with the towel. That's what the trainer said. It looked like I cut myself. I had no other explanation, so it must have been the towel somehow.

Q. When something like that happens, do you get the feeling, "Maybe it's not going to be my day"?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: Maybe, if you start thinking about it. If you start thinking very negative, you can think, okay, this is another sign.

Q. Was the first sign the way he returned your opening serve, big serve that you had?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: Yeah. Well, maybe. If you start to analyze everything critically, there are a lot of signs. Maybe the first sign was I had a big first serve and he straightaway a forehand winner. I think he likes to play me. I knew from the beginning, it was going to be a very difficult match.

Q. Is it difficult to appreciate kind of how this is a big going out for him, since you're on the other side of this.

RICHARD KRAJICEK: I don't know if it's difficult. I've played him twice this year and I knew the tournament was his last tournament also. You don't try to think about it; you just want to finish the job, try to finish the job. For him, I think it may be different. The crowd is more into it. I don't think too much about this is his last Open. It's his - not problem - but it's about him, not about me. I just tried to beat him, see him as another opponent.

Q. Did you know that the last Wimbledon champion to lose in the first round was Stefan in 1990?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: Taking over his crown. I need a couple more US Opens, Australian Opens to come next to him.

Q. Did you get upset when your first serve doesn't work as well?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: After a while, it makes me -- if I really take the pace off the serve, actually try to hit the first serve in the court, it still doesn't go in, then it doesn't make me too happy. Then I start to play the percentages. That doesn't even work. You don't know what's wrong when that doesn't work. If I go for it, yeah, you go for it. If you miss it, you miss it. If you make it, you make it. At one time I looked at the -- took up the speed of my serve, I was still hitting long and wide. Missing a little accuracy.

Q. Talking about the emotional roller coaster of being able to win Wimbledon a few weeks ago and getting knocked out in the first round here, how tough is that to handle?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: It's not a nice feeling. You always have to look at the positive things. I think the positive thing is about an hour, hour and a half ago my holiday started.

Q. Don't you think it's strange that all the Grand Slam champions of this year are out of the US Open halfway through the first round?

RICHARD KRAJICEK: If I think it's strange?

Q. Yes.

RICHARD KRAJICEK: I don't think it's normal procedure. It's a fact. I mean, I'm the only one representing basically the three Grand Slam players. The other two have pulled out. If you look at it in maybe a positive way, then you can just see how wide the strength of the men's game is.

End of FastScripts...

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